Fred and George had made sure nobody was likely to forget them too soon. For one thing, they had not left instructions on how to remove the swamp that now filled the corridor on the fifth floor of the east wing. Umbridge and Filch had been observed trying different means of removing it but without success. Eventually, the area was roped off and Filch, gnashing his teeth furiously, was given the task of punting students across it to their classrooms. Harry was certain that teachers like McGonagall or Flitwick could have removed the swamp in an instant but, just as in the case of Fred and George's Wildfire Whiz-bangs, they seemed to prefer to watch Umbridge struggle.
'Well, tha's why it took so long, see,' said Hagrid. 'Could on'y travel by nigh' an' through wild country an' stuff. Course, he covers the ground pretty well when he wants ter, but he kep' wantin' ter go back.'
He cannot block a single ring . . .'
'Er . . . all righ',' Hagrid whispered back. Tn fact - '
'I knew I could count on yeh, Harry,' Hagrid said, beaming .n a very watery way and dabbing at his face with his handkerchief
'No, I wasn't!' she said angrily. 'As a matter of fact, I was going to ask Harry when he's going to go back to Snape and ask for more Occlumency lessons!'
Ron's ears went red. Harry felt a kind of vindictive pleasure; he had not, of course, dreamed anything of the sort.
'Good!' said Hermione, as Harry set her back on her feet. They both murmured 'Lumos/' and their wand-tips ignited. Hagrid's face swam through the gloom by the light of the two wavering beams and Harry saw again that he looked nervous and sad.
'Yeah,' said Hagrid. 'C'mon now, quick, before we're spotted!'
'Well . . . yeah . . .' said Hagrid, looking anxious. 'See - it's like I say - he doesn' really know 'is own strength.'
'Oh, well, he always made a fool of himself whenever Lily was around,' said Sirius, shrugging, 'he couldn't stop himself showing off whenever he got near her.'
He stopped suddenly and turned around; Hermione walked right into him and was knocked over backwards. Harry caught her just before she hit the Forest floor.
'Firenze said they're angry because he went to work for Dumbledore,' Harry said, tripping on a protruding root because he was busy watching Hagrid's profile.
'It's no good nagging me, it's done,' he said firmly. 'Fred and George have got the gold - spent a good bit of it, too, by the sounds of it - and I can't get it back from them and I don't want to. So save your breath, Hermione.'
There was a shocked silence, then Hermione's teacup jogged right over the edge of the desk and smashed on the floor.
'You were only muttering a bit,' he mumbled apologetically. 'Something about "just a bit further".'
His voice trembled and broke.
'Kind of makes you wish we had Norbert back, doesn't it?' he said, and she gave a very shaky laugh.
'Oh, yes, tiny!' said Hermione, with a kind of hysterical sarcasm. 'Absolutely minuscule!'